Message No : 2Sr.No : 197/722
Question By : Beazedin Mustafa


Al salaamu alaykum dear brothers in Islam

I would like to know the right and the full detailed way of slaughtering animals in Islam for both - sacrifice and self (family) feeding.

So far I know that the animal should be positioned toward Qiblah, to say Bismallah before start, not to kill the animal by electroschoque, and this is all.
But I need to clarify this matter as mush as it can be insha'Allah (maythe butcher be non muslim etc. etc.)

May Allah be happy with your assistance insha'Allah



Reply By : Mohd. Shihabuddin Qasmi
Designation : Mufti, ODI, MMERC, Mumbai 

In the name of Allah, All Gracious, All Merciful
Wa Alaikumossalaam
Dear Brother in Islam,
The answer to your question is as follows:

All the animals prescribed lawful must be slain by Zabh or Nahr except fish. For, the unclean blood freely separates from clean flesh through these acts.

There are two terms used for slaying animals; Zabh and Narh.

Zabh (literary means to cut the throat) refers to cut the windpipe, gullet and two jugular veins of an animal between the throat and the Libbah (the head of the breast bone) by a very sharp knife along with the recitation of ¡°Bismillahi Allahu Akbaar¡±.

Nahr (literary means to cut the throat) refers to cut the veins of an animal at the last portion of throat near the chest by stabbing or spearing, together with the recital of ¡°Bismillahi Allahu Akbaar¡±.

It is Mustahab (preferable) to slay camels by Nahr and cow, goat and similar animals by Zabh. Though it is permissible to slay camels performing Zabh and cow, sheep and other similar animals by Nahr, is Makrooh (abominable). (Hidayah, Kitabuzzabayeeh)

Wild animals may be slain by chasing and shooting them along with pronouncing the name of Allah Almighty. Any language may be used in invocation.

Zabh is of two kinds; Ikhtiari (out of choice) and Idhtirary (out of necessity).

Ikhatiary is to cut the throat above the chest and Idhtirary is to effect an wound at any part of the body of an animal. The latter one is not permitted to adopt unless the former is impossible to follow.

Four veins of an animal should be cut; windpipe, gullet and two jugular veins. If only two of the passages and veins are cut, the Zabh will be incorrect. But if any three of the four are cut, the Zabh will be in order.

It is Mustahab to face the Qiblah while slaughtering. The knife should be sharpened before making Zabh in order to ease the suffering of the animal. Lay the throat of the animal towards the Qiblah and recite: ¡°Bismillahi Allahu Akbar¡±.

One who performs Zabh or Nahr must be a Muslim or amongst the people of the book like Christians and Jews provided they believe in their religious book; Bible and Gospel and make Zabh or Nahr in the name of Allah Almighty. (Fatawa Alhindiah, Kitabuzzayeeh) There is no difference whether the performer is a man or a woman performing for oneself or for sacrifice. An infant who has sense and knows the manners of performing can also make both Zabh and Nahr. (Ibid)

The animal slaughtered by a worshiper of idols or an atheist is not lawful for Muslims to eat. Similarly, the animal slaughtered in the name of other than Allah Almighty or without pronouncing the name of Allah Almighty knowingly is unlawful to eat. The animal slaughtered by a Muhrim (one who is in the state of Ihraam) whether in the Haram of Makkah or in out side is also forbidden. It is forbidden to slay any game in the Haram of Makkah. (Hidayah, Kitabuzzabayeeh)

Zabh may be performed with nails, horns or teeth separated from body provided no sharp instrument is available. For, it is not allowed to give too much pain to animals. Zabh must be made in such a manner as gives ease to animals. The Prophet of Islam (SAW) is reported as having said, ¡°Be merciful in the act of slaying¡±. (Muslim Shareef 2: 152) It is lawful to slay with the rind of reed, or a sharp stone or with everything capable of cutting the vessels and drawing of blood. (Ibid)

It is Makrooh to throw, first, the animal down on its side and then to sharpen the knife. It is also Makrooh to let the knife reach the spinal marrow or get off the head of the animal. Likewise, to detain an animal for slaughter, break its neck, skin or cut it up into pieces while it is in the struggle of death is Makrooh. An animal should not be slaughtered in presence of another animal. (Fatawa Al-Hindiayah, Kitabuzzabayeeh)

And Allah knows the best,

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